Niche Sub-Crag with a Few Lines

Just before the Barker Dam parking area, on the north side of the road, is a small area with a few boulders. If one was to stand at the road’s edge and look at More Monkey Than Funky (the short route), these boulders would be to the left about 200 feet (according to Google Earth) and 800 feet from the west Barker Dam parking lot edge.


Exiting the alcove from the mantel start, Jill begins to set up for the crux reach to the foreground chalk marks.

The line is called Earth First!, v4. We visited this area back in late April before the temps skyrocketed.

In the first image above, the right hand hold she’s reached is the only really grainy hold, but it’s an intermediate too; otherwise, the holds are pretty solid and most patina. The line is marred because there’s a plant at the base, but the plant hugs a back boulder that should be avoided too. We made the decision to climb it based on the fact that we worked the moves till we  knew we’d climb it without falling. I placed one pad over the bush since anything is possible, but we otherwise just climbed the line knowing we weren’t going to fall.

It’s a good problem with an intro mantel into a tight/awkward space for an adult 5’10”, but after reversing position, a few moves sets one up for a big lock off or deadpoint to an incut sidepull that progressively gets bigger. The topout is graining but mostly flat but rising to the right.


This is the start.


Working myself to the point where I can turn around after the mantel.


Next I do a large cross move to get into the upper sidepull.


Jill does the sequence differently; I keep bumping my left hand up until it’s at the top of the sidepull before standing up. Jill goes to the grainy hold above my head with her right keeping the left hand lower (see first image).


It’s a committing tensioned move with a bit of rotation. Fun stuff.


I get the lower sidepull first (just below hand), I think, then bump up to this part. Left hand/heel match then rock over and reach the top.

This next problem is on pretty unique stone; it’s a quartz band in the rock, but one side had sheared off, so we climb that face. Some of the holds are razor sharp edged with smooth faces. The line climbed pretty well for being that low because all the moves require one to stay tight… mainly due to the aggressive down pointed heel-toe cam seen in the photo below.


Under me is a 5/8″ cover pad that works perfectly here. No pad works good too.

This line is called Cut Like a Diamond, v6. Here is a smartphone video of Jill sending it:


~ by r. mulligan on 2016/09/15.

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